Learning from the teeth of the dead

"It's fantastic we can look in such detail at an individual who died 600 years ago," said Don Walker, an osteologist with the Museum of London about his recent work on remains found last year under London's Charterhouse Square. A study of the teeth has revealed that at least 12 of the skeletons died in the 14th century of the Black Death. (photos)

The study also confirmed that many of the skeletons showed signs of malnutrition, probably during the "Great Famine," 30 years before the plague. "It is useful information that could warn and avert potential epidemics and pandemics," added Brendan Wren, a professor of molecular biology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.